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Press Releases - County Council

Council to discuss local and bi-county bills for the 2021 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly at virtual meeting on Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m.

For Immediate Release: Friday, November 20, 2020

Also on Nov. 23: Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee will discuss legislation to strengthen Montgomery County Ethics Law and safeguard public trust at 9:30 a.m.

The Council and the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee will meet virtually on Monday, Nov. 23. Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council and committee review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html. The Council and committee meeting schedules may change from time to time. The current agendas can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

On the guidance of Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, there is currently no public access to the Council Office Building. The virtual Council and committee meetings will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube (MoCoCouncilMD) and on Facebook Live (MontgomeryCountyMdCouncil) and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on channels 30 (Fios), 1056 (RCN) and 996 (Xfinity).

Council Meeting: State Legislative Program
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Topic:

State Legislation
The Council will discuss state legislation and potential Council positions on local and bi-county bills for the 2021 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly, which is scheduled to convene on Jan. 13. The Montgomery County Delegation will hold public hearings on Montgomery County local and bi-county bills on Dec.1 and Dec. 8. Those expected to provide information at the Council meeting include: Melanie Wenger, director, Office of Intergovernmental Relations (OIR); Kathleen Boucher, special assistant to director, OIR; Leslie Frey, legislative analyst, OIR; Sara Morningstar, federal relations coordinator and legislative analyst, OIR; Amy Samman, legislative analyst, OIR; representatives from the County Executive Office; representatives from the County Attorney's Office; representatives from the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission; and representatives from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The Council staff report includes a summary chart for each of the bills to be considered at the meeting and can be viewed here.

Meeting: Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee
Time: 9:30 a.m.
GO Committee: Councilmembers Nancy Navarro (Chair) and Andrew Friedson and Council President Sidney Katz
Topics:

Bill 42-20, Ethics - Public Accountability and Transparency - Amendments
The GO Committee will review Bill 42-20, Ethics - Public Accountability and Transparency – Amendments known as the Public Accountability and County Transparency Act, which would, among other things, require the County Executive to disclose a proposed employment contract with an appointee to a non-merit position and any employment contract with an employee currently serving in a non-merit position to the Council. The goal of Bill 42-20 is to improve public accountability and transparency. Councilmember Andrew Friedson is the lead sponsor and Councilmember Craig Rice, Council President Sidney Katz and Councilmembers Evan Glass, Nancy Navarro and Council Vice President Hucker are cosponsors.

The Public Accountability and County Transparency Act would do the following:

  • Define the sale or promotion of intellectual property such as books, videos and artwork as other employment in the County's Ethics Law, requiring financial disclosure;
  • Prohibit the chief administrative officer from other employment;
  • Prohibit a County employee who in the previous year was compensated by a company seeking to do business with the County from participating in any way in that procurement process;
  • Require a County employee involved in the procurement process who before the previous year was compensated by a company seeking to do business with the County to disclose that prior relationship to the procurement supervisor;
  • Require non-merit employees and elected officials to include in financial disclosures sources of fees of more than $1,000 in other employment, with some exceptions;
  • Require the disclosure of proposed contracts for appointed, non-merit positions to the Council at the time of appointment; and
  • Require the disclosure of contracts for current, non-merit employees in Council-confirmed positions.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#PACTAct is being used for this bill on social media.

Bill 43-20, Non-merit Employees – Merit System Employees – Severance Pay – Limited
The GO Committee will review Bill 43-20, Non-merit Employees – Merit System Employees – Severance Pay - Limited, which would end the practice of using taxpayer dollars to compensate public employees in the unregulated and often undisclosed fashion of discretionary severance pay. It would also prohibit separation pay for an employee who admits to violating, or is found to have violated, Montgomery County's Ethics Law in the year prior to separation. Councilmember Andrew Friedson is the lead sponsor. Councilmember Craig Rice, Council President Sidney Katz and Councilmembers Evan Glass, Nancy Navarro and Council Vice President Hucker are cosponsors. The goal of this legislation is to improve transparency in employee compensation.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#SeveringSeverance is being used for this bill on social media.

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Release ID: 20-462
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931